Minnesota’s One-Man Band

An otherwise average Vikings team now occupies the final NFC postseason spot thanks to the extraordinary play of Justin Jefferson.

On Monday, Jefferson hauled in his ninth TD catch of the season in Minnesota’s 17-9 victory over the Bears, moving the 7-7 Vikings up to the NFC’s 7-seed.

The Vikings were held to 61 passing yards, but the 22-year-old still managed to produce, continuing to make his case as the NFL’s most dynamic young receiver.

  • Jefferson passed Randy Moss for second-most receiving yards in his first two seasons (2,735) and is now 21 behind Odell Beckham Jr.
  • He leads the league in scrimmage yards per touch (14.3) and is second among receivers in yards (1,335), tied for fifth in TDs, and tied for sixth in receptions (89).
  • He joined Moss and Sammy White as the only Vikings receivers to be named to the Pro Bowl in each of their first two seasons.

In the second year of a four-year, $13 million rookie contract, Jefferson’s just the 90th-highest-paid WR in the NFL, but he’s eligible for a 2023 extension potentially worth up to $140 million over five years — challenging Kirk Cousins’ $84 million contract for the biggest deal in team history.

But the Vikings still have a steep climb toward the postseason with games against the Rams, Packers, and Bears — Minnesota is currently +250* to reach the playoffs.